You can declare a draw and in fact you are required to declare a draw but only after you have counted 75 moves by each side without a capture or a pawn move. This is according to the FIDE Laws of Chess article 9.6.2:
9.6 If one or both of the following occur(s) then the game is drawn:
9.6.1 the same position has appeared, as in 9.2.2 at least five ...
It is not a drawn position according to the rules, since there is sufficient mating material. It may be a draw from the point of view of endgame theory, but given players who make lots of mistakes, it wouldn't be all that surprising for one to lose to a tactic.
I would let them play until the player who wanted a draw can claim it based on the 50-move rule ...
It's better to let them play it out a bit and ideally only draw once reaching 50 moves. But if one of them is low on time (and their opponent is clearly just trying to flag them) then you should claim the draw.
It is difficult to say what the exact rules should be if you aren't affiliated with a group that publishes rules for such situations. But I think your actions in this case were reasonable.
USCF rule 14H used to state that a player with less than two minutes on the clock (with no delay or increment being used) could make a claim of insufficient losing ...
Relevant FIDE rule, appendix G.5:
If Article G.4 [a player may claim extra time for both sides] does not apply and the player having the move has less
than two minutes left on his clock, he may claim a draw before his
flag falls. He shall summon the arbiter and may stop the chessclock
(see Article 6.12 b). He may claim on the basis that his opponent
But most players are much smarter with how they do it by using other ways than you suggest.
Two GMs could agree to play a tame opening that is known to be drawish then settle for a draw after 20 moves or whatever the current rule limit is.
Personally I think they should have to play at least 40 moves if not the whole game until a draw is the ...
I am not proud about it, but I am gonna confess once at last round of a 3rd cathegory regional tournament I was virtually classified with a draw for playing in 2nd cathegory and my oponnent also classified, needing both the 1/2 point, and we agree a draw before the game.
We were from the same club and another player I met on University ask me directly to do ...